With Sports on Hold, Highlight Reel Celebrates Research

CSL Behring-sponsored Uplifting Athletes event provides $100,000+ in research grants.

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CSL Behring Vice President, Global Commercial Development, Transplant, Kevin Kovaleski speaks at the Uplifting Athletes Young Investigator Draft presented by CSL Behring.
CSL Behring Vice President, Global Commercial Development, Transplant, Kevin Kovaleski speaks at the Uplifting Athletes Young Investigator Draft presented by CSL Behring.

As the world paused in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, one of the more glaring voids has been the absence of team sports. For both athletes and fans, sports hold a unique power to bring people and communities together.

Uplifting Athletes holds sports’ special role in building unity at the center of its mission to harness the passion of fans in an effort to raise money and awareness for rare diseases. The group has recently offered a reminder of how powerful sports can be by sharing a highlight reel of this year’s Uplifting Athletes Young Investigator Draft. CSL Behring sponsored the March 5 event.

The NFL Draft-style event at Lincoln Financial Field, home of the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles, encourages emerging rare disease researchers with vital grant funding. Patient organizations representing various rare conditions select, or draft, the researchers to receive $20,000 individual grants.

Grant recipients included:

  • Dr. Joshua Brandstadter, University of Pennsylvania, for research into Castleman Disease;
  • Dr. Cheng Cheng, University of California, Irvine, for research into Borjeson-Forssman-Leymann syndrome;
  • Dr. Kathryn Hixon, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Catalyst for Rare Diseases, for research into Malan Syndrome;
  • Dr. Abhishek Mangaonkar, Mayo Clinic – Rochester, Minnesota, for research into inherited bone marrow failure transfer syndromes;
  • Dr. Jonathan Whittamore, University of Florida, for research into primary hyperoxalurias.

In addition, Dr. Benjamin Chan of Yale University received a collaborative leadership award grant for his work investigating the treatment of bacterial infections.

CSL Behring has partnered with Uplifting Athletes as the title sponsor for each of its Young Investigator Drafts since the event began in 2018. For more information on how CSL Behring gives back to the scientific community and beyond, click here.